— 409 —
For every particular thing to have a name is impossible.       §2. First, It is impossible, that every particular Thing should have a
distinct peculiar Name. For the signification and use of Words,
depending on that connexion, which the Mind makes between its
Ideas, and the Sounds it uses as Signs of them, it is necessary, in
the Application of Names to things, that the Mind should have
distinct Ideas of the Things, and retain also the particular Name
that belongs to every one, with its peculiar appropriation to that
Idea. But it is beyond the Power of humane Capacity to frame and
retain distinct Ideas of all the particular Things we meet with: every
Bird, and Beast Men saw; every Tree, and Plant, that affected the
Senses, could not find a place in the most capacious Understanding.
If it be looked on, as an instance of a prodigious Memory, That some
Generals have been able to call every Soldier in their Army, by his
proper Name: We may easily find a Reason, why Men have never
attempted to give Names to each Sheep in their Flock, or Crow that
flies over their Heads; much less to call every Leaf of Plants, or
Grain of Sand that came in their way, by a peculiar Name.
Locke Hum III, 3, §2, p. 409